Who makes Andes Munay possible?
Indigenous artisans, the soul of Andes Munay
In the previous entry, we gave you an overview of this project, and this time we want to share more details about the work and the people who give life to this project. Bryan Solórzano and I, Belén Llumiquinga are 2 young Ecuadorians who arrived to Hungary in 2018 to study a master's degree. However, we had more plans in mind. Bryan and I share a common vision, which is to make our culture and its value known in other countries, while we contribute to the economy of indigenous communities. Therefore, we decided to capture this vision through the garments that our indigenous artisans make while giving them the value they deserve.
It is essential for Andes Munay to contribute to the artisan communities in aspects such as training on design and new fashion trends, the donation of materials and tools that support the development of their work, among others. All of this is necessary to connect the artisans with more international markets. Since we want to reach many countries, we decided to start in the country where we live, Hungary!
So, how did we get in contact with the artisans? Andes Munay was born in November 2019. We started to work with three groups of artisans who we met when visiting their town. Two of them are from the south of the Ecuadorian Andes and the third one is from Imbabura in the north of Ecuador. We also received support from an Ecuadorian governmental institution. Pro-Ecuador is part of the Vice Ministery of Export and Investment Promotion of Ecuador and through its management; it was possible to include three more families of indigenous artisans in the project. This allowed us to expand the product catalog. In the same way, our team in Budapest is also growing in order to provide the best experience for people who enjoy our products.
Today, almost two years later, our artisan product lines include Toquilla straw and felt hats, winter garments such as scarves, sweaters, coats and ponchos, tagua jewelry, blankets and handbags. This has been possible because more families of artisans have joined this project during the last year and their work full of love and dedication is our inspiration to make Andes Munay grow and reach more places.
Finally, surely I could tell you more and more about all the people who have been part of this project; however, I would like to talk in more detail about the articles we offer on our website because believe me! these are more than pieces of clothing. For this, we are going to start in the following blog with one that bears the title of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity! The story behind the Toquilla straw hat.